The Crew Health Team at UK P&I Club, calls for greater crew education on hepatitis:
“Medical examination results, obtained from the UK P&I Club PEME clinic network, indicate 10.1% of cases of crew unfitness are related to hepatitis, with 8.5% of the total crew found unfit due to Hepatitis B.
“With such high rates of infection among seafarers, it is vital that crew are informed on hepatitis. Having a greater knowledge of the disease’s symptoms, method of transmission, measures of prevention and treatment will allow crew to minimise the risk of original infection or consequent spread, creating a healthier and safer work environment.
What is hepatitis?
“Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. The condition can progress to fibrosis (scarring), or liver cancer. Other infections, toxic substances (e.g. alcohol, certain drugs), and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.
“According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015. Moreover, 325 million people worldwide carried hepatitis B or C virus infections. Although vaccines exist for hepatitis A and hepatitis B, the development of a hepatitis C vaccine has presented challenges.
“There are a number of identifiable symptoms associated with the hepatitis:
What are the five types of hepatitis?
“There are five unique hepatitis viruses, identified by the letters A, B, C, D, and E. While all cause liver disease, they vary in important ways.
1. Hepatitis A virus (HAV)
“HAV is present in faeces and most often transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food. Certain sex practices can also spread HAV. Infections are in many cases mild, with most people making a full recovery. However, HAV infections can also be severe and life threatening. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HAV.
2. Hepatitis B virus (HBV)
“HBV is transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen and other body fluids. Transmission may also occur through transfusions or contaminated injections. Safe and effective vaccines are available to prevent HBV.
3. Hepatitis C virus (HCV)
“HCV is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. This may happen through transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. There is no vaccine for HCV.
4. Hepatitis D virus (HDV)
“Infection of HDV occurs only in those who are infected with HBV. The dual infection of HDV and HBV can result in a more serious disease and a worse outcome. Hepatitis B vaccines provide protection from HDV infection.
5. Hepatitis E virus (HEV)
“Mostly transmitted through consumption of contaminated water or food, HEV is a common cause of hepatitis outbreaks in developing parts of the world. Safe and effective vaccines to prevent HEV infection have been developed but are not widely available.”
For further details, please contact:
Jonathan Atkins / Alastair Doyle
UKP&I@fourbroadgate.com / +44 (0) 20 3697 4200
Notes to Editors
The UK P&I Club is a leading provider of P&I insurance and other services to the international shipping community. Established in 1869 the UK P&I Club insures over 240 million tonnes of owned and chartered shipping through its international offices and claims network. ‘A (Stable)’ rated by Standard & Poor’s with free reserves of $540m, the UK P&I Club is renowned for its specialist skills and expertise which ensure ‘best in class’ underwriting, claims handling and loss prevention services.
The UK P&I Club is managed by Thomas Miller, an independent and international insurance, professional and investment services provider.
Thomas Miller is an independent and international provider of insurance, professional and investment services.
Founded in 1885, Thomas Miller’s origins are in the provision of management services to mutual organisations, particularly in the international transport and professional indemnity sectors; where today they manage a large percentage of the foremost insurance mutuals. Thomas Miller also manages insurance facilities for all the self-employed barristers in England & Wales, as well as trustees of pension schemes, patent agents and housing associations.
Principal activities include: